|Bactrocera papayae ( Drew and Hancock) - ASIAN PAPAYA FRUIT FLY|
|Monday, 21 January 2013 11:47|
Female Asian Papaya Fruit Fly - note exceptionally long ovipositor (Photo: S. Wilson)
DISTRIBUTION: Native to and widespread in southeast Asia (Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, East Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Kalimatan). It invaded Papua New Guinea from Asia through Irian Jaya in 1992. For a long time, it had been only trapped in the Western and West Sepik Provinces, but was later detected in Port Moresby (May 1998), Morobe Province (September 1998), and the Highlands (Eastern Highlands, Simbu, Western Highlands) (November 1998). It is present in most provinces of Mainland PNG, but not yet in the Island Provinces. It was detected in Cairns (Northern Queensland, Australia) in October 1995, but may have established about two years earlier. It has been eradicated from Queensland by implementing an eradication programme using male annihilation and protein bait spraying, that cost AUD 35 million.
HOST PLANTS: A polyphagous species and major pest recorded in Asia from 193 host species, in 114 genera and 50 families (Allwood et al, 1999). It was bred from 35 host species in Australia (Hancock et al, 2000) and caused considerable damage to fruits and coffee berries. There are presently not enough data available to establish a comprehensive host list for Papua New Guinea, but it has been occasionally bred from carambola, cashew, papaya, pomelo, mango and guava. No infestations of coffee berries have been observed or reported so far in PNG, even though B. papayae is commonly trapped in the Highlands.
BIOLOGY: A very destructive polyphagous pest. Females can lay eggs in green papayas and citrus and young bananas. Female B. papayae has an exceptionally long ovipositor, allowing it to penetrate past the sap layer of green fruits such as papaya. This species is kept in laboratory colonies, reared on papaya-based diet, in Papua New Guinea.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE: A very damaging pest. It will readily attack most species of edible fruits and fleshy vegetables. No infestations on coffee berries have been observed so far in Papua New Guinea.
MALE LURE: Methyl eugenol.
QUARANTINE SURVEILLANCE: Methyl eugenol trapping and regular host fruit surveys of high risk species, especially banana, guava, mango, papaya, Tahitian chestnut, Syzygium apples and tropical almond.
OPTIONS FOR RESPONSE (If newly discovered in a country): Increased trapping, increased host fruit sampling, restriction of fruit movement, protein bait spraying, male annihilation.